LR City Directors Again Squabble Over Mayor Pay

LR City Directors Again Squabble Over Mayor Pay

Tuesday evening there was more confusion about whether the mayor's current salary violates state law.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- How much should the mayor of Little Rock be paid?
   
The question continues to divide the city's board of directors.
   
And Tuesday evening there was more confusion about whether the mayor's current salary violates state law.

Mayor Mark Stodola left the room, recusing himself from the debate, while the directors tried to sort it out.

But even after taking more than a month to study the issue, opinions Tuesday night were still far apart.

"I think we need to be decisive and start, at least, addressing this issue today," said city director Dean Kumpuris.

"I don't feel conformable voting on anything I cannot explain to a citizen," said city director Joan Adcock.

Right now, the mayor pulls in $160,000 a year plus benefits, and some say that's plenty.

"The only thing were going to give our mayor is right there," said a man during public comment after slamming down a penny on the podium.

But some on the board and the city's attorney argue that it'll take more than a penny to bring the city into compliance with a vague but important word in state law.
   
The law says the mayor's salary must be "comparable" to other top public employees.  Problem is, no one in city government can define exactly what comparable means or who they should be comparing to.

Some point to city manager Bruce Moore's salary that's almost $20,000 more than the mayor's as proof the city is not complying.

City director Erma Hendrix, well, she disagrees.

"Mr. Moore is the manager of 14 department heads, 2,000 plus employees," she said. "What I see with the mayor's role is photo op-ing."

In the end there was one thing city directors could agree on -- putting the issue off until the next meeting.


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